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Minted Fennel-Apple Juice: Ten Years

Ten years. That’s how long it’s been since I stepped out of high school for the very last time. This past weekend, I dragged, err, took, Matt to my ten year high school reunion. Most Thanksgiving breaks, I follow a whirlwind schedule of meeting up with every friend that comes to town. I drink an entirely unreasonable amount of coffee and eat too much food because I’m constantly meeting someone at Starbucks, for lunch, dinner, a mid-afternoon snack, etc. I hop from place to place, relishing a few hours with some of my best friends from growing up. Inevitably, we end up in the same places, for lack of knowledge of new things and, maybe, the simple nostalgia for the way things were. The funny thing about coming ‘home’ to my parents’ house is that it’s starting to feel like it’s been a really long time since I’ve lived in the suburbs.

I’m not used to the wide roads, the colorful trees, the mountains, and the quiet streets. Everything feels the same, yet simultaneously different. Getting dressed for my reunion, I got the weirdest feeling: like I had stepped back in time. I was again worried about my hair being too frizzy, my outfit not being cool enough, the ‘popular’ girls that I might see, the boys I had crushes on in high school. Throughout the days I spent at my parents’ house in their absence, I kept getting flashbacks; of my first date, of car talks with girlfriends, of senior prom, of working at the mall, of learning how to drive my first car, of playing basketball with my dad in the driveway, of moving into our new house, of baking brownies with my mom, of trying on clothes in my room before a dance.

My high school ‘crew’ is still pretty tight, so I knew we’d have a good time, but I wondered…who would show up? My high school reunion was, in a word: surprising. The controversial characters β€” the ‘bad’ kids, the ‘popular’ girls, and the biggest nerds weren’t there. There was a large contingent of literary magazine and newspaper kids (some of my good friends). There were the ‘band kids’ and the winter formal king. There were the kids whose names I couldn’t remember for the life of me. We were all grown up kids. Some of us have changed dramatically physically, but some of us remained frozen in time.

This Thanksgiving, in particular, felt different to me. I found myself feeling emotional a lot. We spent the day with my 86 year old grandfather since my parents were away and I started noticing, more than ever before, just how elderly he has become. Visiting all of my old haunts felt somehow sad. I was constantly reminded of how far away β€” mentally β€” I am from the place I grew up in. The brilliantly colored leaves kept reminding me of the time passing. Every year. We grow older and those around us do, too. Every year, we all come back to the same place. But some of us don’t. And while the leaves keep changing, there comes a time when people stop coming. And part of me never wants that to happen. And maybe that’s why so many people stop coming back. Staying away, it’s easier to forget the time that has passed. The people we used to be (and still are). The people we used to love, to lust, to worship, to adore, to hate, to dismiss, to look over.

Minted Fennel-Apple Juice
*serves 2-3

After gorging on turkey, pie, stuffing, and more this Thanksgiving (not to mention an unreasonable amount of carbs and lattes), I am ready for some lighter fare this week. I’m not going on a juice cleanse, but I suspect some of you might need a little recharge. This juice is a delicious combination of apples, fresh fennel, mint and lemon. It’s refreshing. It’s new. It’s a good way to start the week fresh.

1 large bulb of fennel, roughly chopped
2 apples (I used Fuji and Honeycrisp) roughly chopped
2 slices of lemon
1 small handful of mint

Feed the ingredients through the juicer, and give the juice a nice stir once it’s processed. I use this one.

Musical Pairings: Tycho – Dive + Minted Fennel-Apple Juice

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Posted by Kasey

Kasey is the food editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. She loves dark chocolate, warm crusty bread, and traveling to new places. She speaks Russian, but does not like vodka.

  • Love this insight, Kasey. Although my ten year is still a bit off, I too feel the deep changes that have occurred since High School days. There is a lot I feel I would love to say and ask, but I’ll keep it short. Would love to meet sometime in the future, I feel like we’re on the same wavelength πŸ™‚ — Love this juice. Just had some kale apple this morning… I think kale fennel is absolutely in order.

  • I would love to meet up, Kelsey! I feel like we are often on the same wavelength πŸ™‚ I think it’s inevitable that things change and while I sometimes have a hard time with change, I can’t emphasize enough that changes in my life have been for the better. I’m always looking for more juice ideas – kale apple sounds awesome. Hope you having a great Monday and had a lovely Thanksgiving!

  • Coming from someone who is creeping up on her 20th (gulp), things seem to continually evolve after that first reunion. Simple acquaintances have become good friends and people I never suspected having anything in common with are now the ones I find myself most aligned with. Still, I love my tried and true ‘crew’. No matter how many years pass and how much distance grows between us, they’ll always hold that special place in my heart.

    I adore the color of this juice. It sounds like the perfect little detox remedy after an overly indulgent (but utterly delicious) week.

  • We’ve been juicing quite a bit lately. I’ve always wondered about juicing fennel but my husband tends to like to keep to our regular – apples, orange, kale, carrot, mint, ginger and lime. It’s really delicious but I think I must try this. Thanks Kasey!

  • I was a little scared about juicing fennel, too, especially since I’m not a huge anise fan. BUT. The flavor was really mild and accented the apple beautifully. I also think the mint and lemon and key ingredients in this juice. I love adding ginger to juices, too. One of these days, maybe I’ll do a juice cleanse, but I don’t think I’m that disciplined πŸ˜‰

  • Oh how things change over the years…I, too, have been surprised at who has become a good friend and which supposedly ‘good’ friends have faded away…but that’s life. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned so far, it’s that, at their core, people really tend to be who they’ve always been, but our preferences, hobbies, and eccentricities become more or less accentuated. Hope you are well, Beth! xo

  • Love this post, Kasey! Being “home” (at my parents’) for Thanksgiving brought back memories for me, too. It’s so interesting. I enjoy the memories, but I’m also grateful to be where I am in my life now.

    The juice sounds really good and the color is amazing!

  • I’m sure the fennel and apple went together beautifully! I so want a juicer and I like that this recipe doesn’t call for a bizzilion carrots or beets but reasonable amounts of fruits/veg that I do have on hand. My fear with getting a juicer is that I’d need some serious shares in a farm to make up for all the stuff I’d be juicing. But this does look lovely and maybe I’ll get a juicer for xmas this year!

  • I know what you mean! With some fruits and veggies (beets, for example) you really need A LOT to make a significant amount of juice. But, I’ve found that certain fruits and veggies are more giving than others. Examples include: oranges, apples, watermelon (holy smokes it makes a lot of juice!)…I got mine more as a trial, but it’s so nice to be able to whiz up any combination of juice, anytime I want. I hope you get one for xmas πŸ™‚

  • So wise, Nicole. I, too, am grateful to be where I am…Nostalgia is a funny thing, though. Kinda hits you – even when you’re not expecting it! xo

  • Ahhhhh, we just ordered a juicer on Sunday and it’s taking *forever* to arrive. Between the juice recipes you and Tracy (Shutterbean) post about, I’m getting ANTSY!

    (Love the Fennel-Apple combo by the way, never thought of pairing the two)

  • Courtney Arrington

    I love that napkin (or dish cloth?) Where did you find it?

  • Courtney, it’s actually just a piece of fabric I picked up from a fabric store in San Francisco…super cute, right?

  • Ru-T

    Yaaaay for high school friends!! I feel same way every time I take that De Anza Blvd exit on 85… Great post, Kasey!

  • Ahhhhh! For sure. LOVED seeing you yesterday. xoxo

  • I know! Tracy is all about the juicing…I think she was one of the first people that inspired me to juice, actually! Happy holidays, friend!

  • Chickadee3357

    Found your blog through tastespotting and I saw that you bought the pomegranate mint glasses from SF…I was intrigued b/c I’m in the area. Then the next post says you just had your 10 year reunion, I did too. I was raised outside of the Bay Area, so I wasn’t thinking that I knew, I just thought the coincidences were fun.

  • Fun! Glad to have you πŸ™‚

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